Mass. gov asks Commerce Secretary to raise fish limit

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BOSTON (AP) — Gov. Deval Patrick is asking the federal government to raise the catch limit on a key fish stock.

In a letter Friday, Patrick asked U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke to reset the catch limit on pollock “as high as possible while avoiding overfishing.”

Fishermen complain the pollock limit was set so low, they’ll quickly catch it and be forced out of the water for the rest of the year.

Under tough new rules for Northeast groundfish species, if fishermen exceed their limit on one species, they must stop fishing for all species.

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In his letter, Patrick cited preliminary results of a pollock study that indicate it’s not being overfished.

A Commerce Department spokeswoman said if the full scientific review indicates the catch limit can be raised, Locke would instruct regulators to do so.

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